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9 Healthy Habits to Help You Manage Email Overload

9 Healthy Habits to Help You Manage Email Overload

    Today, having an email address has become as normal as having a surname. My seven year old son and my seventy six year old mother have email addresses. We can safely say that the email overload phenomenon is nothing new. Since 1971 we have been sending emails, but since 1971 a large percentage of us have not learned how to most effectively use email and how to avoid it becoming a cross we have to bear.

    Here are 9 healthy habits you can adopt to prevent you from suffering from the Email Overload phenomenon

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    Write better emails

    Some people treat email as an opportunity to have a chat but that is not the purpose of email. If you are arranging a meeting get to the point rather than send an email that will open up a 10 part communication consider sending an email that is concise.

    “Hi, are you free Friday at 11 to discuss the Project A? We could meet at Starbucks on the corner of Merrion Street.”

    When, where and why are all available, now all the person has to say is yes if it suits them or suggest alternative arrangements if it doesn’t.

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    Pick up the Phone

    A more efficient way to deal with arranging a meeting would be a telephone call. People often avoid making phone calls because they think it will take up too much time. Not true, arranging a time and place is much more efficient when you are speaking to someone in person, this way you can debate time and place more efficiently both parties being able to check calendars at the same time. Also if you send fewer emails you will logically receive fewer emails.

    Remove yourself

    Remove yourself from all newsletter lists, group emails etc. If you want to subscribe to email newsletters best have a dedicated email address so not to clutter up your work inbox and also to avoid them disturbing your focus and concentration.

    Chunk it up

    Check emails in chunks; don’t get tempted to check emails consistently. Smart phones and tablet devices are really awesome but they are not so cool when people start to use them to check emails at all hours of the day, I’ve even know people who check them in bed (gasp!). What you can also do is advise people that you only check your emails twice a day and if they need a reply to something urgently they should rather call you.

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    Turn it off

    Switch off all notifications of emails, on your PC and any other device that you receive email on. Never allow a ding or a bell disturb your focus from what you are working on. It may be an email telling you that you have landed a 1 million dollar deal but it could also be spam or an email from your aunt in Australia to tell you her dog is sick.

    Keep it brief

    Email is not a medium for spilling your heart out. Keep your messages brief and to the point. The less you write the more likely your question or query will be answered. Even though you want to send and receive less email it is still a better idea to send an email per topic, you are more likely to get an answer to all your questions and it also leaves a better trail if you need to find an email at a later date.

    Process your email twice a day

    When we say I have to check my email, it usually means you scan your email to see if there is anything urgent or interesting that you want to read or deal with. Checking email is the action to blame which can ultimately lead us to chaos, clutter and stress. It may seem like an exaggeration but if we let it go untended it can end up with thousands of emails sitting in you inbox without knowledge of whether they are actionable or dealt with. We need to substitute check for process. Processing is when we make a decision. We can Do, Delegate, Delete or Defer or we can use the Barabara Hemphill’s FAT method, File, Act or Trash.

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    Organize your email

    The emails you need to keep for reference should be filed in a logical system and the emails that require action should be either moved to your calendar or your task system. All those that don’t fall into these categories should be trashed.

    Get a Life

    Remember that your email doesn’t own you. You are the adult around here and you need to take control. Follow these actions advised and before long you will be hanging out in your empty Inbox wondering why you feel so calm and peaceful.

    (Photo credit: An image of some flying envelopes via Shutterstock)

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    Ciara Conlon

    Productivity coach, speaker, blogger and author of Chaos to Control, a Practical Guide to Getting Things Done

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    Last Updated on July 8, 2020

    10 Smart Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

    10 Smart Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

    Productivity is the ability to perform tasks efficiently and in a timely manner. In today’s busy and competitive business world, productivity is paramount for any business, organization or corporation.

    Productivity is more than just performing tasks successfully. It is about investing and allocating resources, so the company or business can perform to meet its core goals.

    As part of 2019, it is important to commit to new goals. When shopping around for new productivity software keep in mind the following things: cost, reliability, cross-platform compatibility, on the go, technical support, etc.

    In the subsequent sections, we will examine the most recommended productivity software in the marketplace. In addition, we will look at what makes them tick and what separates them from the rest of the pack.

    Projects and Tasks Management

    1. Monday dot com

      Monday dot com was founded to create a team management solution so people connect to workplace processes across any industry. The productivity tool is used in more than 140 countries.

      The user interface is intuitive and impressive. It makes collaboration productive and fun because of its simplicity.

      The tool is deemed to have one of the best user experiences across the mobile and online project and task management platform.

      The product includes usability, customization, admin control, group management and control, private or public control, in-group messaging and more.

      Check out the software here!

      2. Asana

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        The mantra behind Asana’s product is to enable teams from across different organizations to work together effortlessly.

        The software comes with lots of customizations. When you create a project as a user, you can choose between a traditional task view and the kanban-style board view. The dashboard allows you to see the progress on a project, and it includes an excellent advanced set of search tools.

        Also, Asana’s Android and iOS apps do retain the web interface’s clean look and feel.

        Check out the software here!

        3. Trello

          Trello was founded in the summer of 2010 and two years later the platform added 500,000 members. Anyone within sales, marketing, HR and operations can collaborate successfully with this product.

          Moreover, the tool has over 100 plus integrations with Google Drive, Slack, Jira and others. The product works flawlessly across various platforms.

          Some of the well-known features includes is speed, easy-to-use, and set up. The interface includes due dates, assignments, file storage, checklists and more.

          Check out the software here!

          4. Jira

            The Jira software is flexible and heralded as the next-generation project.

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            The software allows teams to design and adapt the software to an organization’s needs. This includes having visibility into long term goals, project roadmaps, status of work, real-time release information and more. In addition, the interface is customizable.

            The Atlassian Cloud does not support multiple separate domains, subdomains or domain aliases in Google Apps.

            Check out the software here!

            5. Evernote Business

              Evernote was founded in 2008 and reached 11 million users by 2011. The company was founded on the premise that their product should address the ever-increasing volume and speed of information.

              The product helps bring together groups of teams because of versatility and functionality. It creates documents, collaboration on projects, store information all a single location.

              Moreover, you can find information quickly and includes effective search capabilities and integrations with existing tools you may already use.

              Check out the software here!

              Communication

              6. Slack

                Slack was founded in 2013 and the tool is heralded as a collaboration hub. Slack is where productivity happens. When you start a new project, hire new staff, deploy a code, review a sales contract, finalize on a budget, Slack covers all of these. Some of the major highlights include highly customizable notifications and seamless integrations with other collaboration and office tools. The free version of the software comes loaded with features, but does not archive old message. So, you have to review what are the best options for your organization or business.

                Check out the software here!

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                7. Spike

                  Newcomer Spike makes emails more conversational by helping teams maintain productivity, communication, and collaboration. All of these are achieved from within their inbox.

                  Spike works on top of any existing email (O365, G suite, and IMAP) turning it into a real-time messenger and making your communication much more functional and efficient.

                  Spike’s features include built-in groups and channels, voice and video calls, email encryption, instant access to all your files, and much more.

                  Check out the software here!

                  Creation

                  8. Office 365

                    Microsoft’s Office 365 could not be excluded from the conversation and especially as it pertains to productivity software.

                    Of course we are all familiar with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. But there is more capabilities that come with it.

                    You have business-class email, online storage space, and teamwork solutions. These services can be accessed from just about anywhere.

                    Within this suite is Microsoft Sway, which is a presentation software and a step above PowerPoint.

                    Check out the software here!

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                    9. Grammarly

                      Grammarly helps to cut down time on editing. Professionals in several industries like law, healthcare, academia, marketing, engineering and journalism use it to provide instant feedback on the accuracy of writing in English.

                      Once you install the extension from Google Chrome, you can get corrections when you are drafting an email, using social media and other apps.

                      Grammarly is AI powered and it’s a wonderful tool to have to check spelling and grammar before a presentation.

                      Check out the software here!

                      Team Analytics

                      10. ActivTrak

                        ActivTrak is a business intelligence tool that allows you to access team behavior analytics. In other words, it is data-driven.

                        The pros include two-factor authentication with active directory integration. You can also automate your alerts and it has an intuitive interface with easy-to-use admin controls.

                        Furthermore, it comes with Google sign-in, iOS app, productivity track, and more. The bottomline is the product offers employee productivity metrics along with team behavior analytics.

                        Check out the software here!

                        The Bottom Line

                        Depending on the size, budget, resources, and immediate needs of your company, not all productivity software will exactly solve your problem. You will have to contact any of the providers above and probe extensively to find the right product that is made for your business.

                        More Productivity Tools

                        Featured photo credit: Domenico Loia via unsplash.com

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